Monday, December 20, 2010

Generous People

Well, it is Christmas week and I wanted to share a holiday story about the kindness of people. I received a holiday card on Friday from a couple from Houmha, Louisiana- enclosed was a check for $10 and a note on the card that wished us a happy holidays and "no more of that lady's "I didn't receive it" foolishness, which could have cost you $500." I was so touched by the card that it brought tears to my eyes. Things had been a little frustrating lately- between dealing with the woman and her credit card fraud which she is trying to get away with and trying to collect on money owed to us and dealing with some other unhelpful people- it had been a little trying. When I received her card, it was a reminder of all the good, kind people that there are in the world and how I've been lucky enough to be helped by a lot of supportive people. It was also a reminder that people do actually read my blog! Today, I mailed them a thank you card and a Project Smile calendar.

Brief update with the credit card issue- I mailed the letter, signed pre-arbitration form and another copy of the post office signed receipt to the cc company. Our board attorney reviewed the letter and made some edits to it before I sent it.

In other updates- the Santa and Stiletto event raised a total of $1,650 for Project Smile. I'm happy with that. Events like that are great because they raise money without us having to expend a lot of time and effort. It also kept Project Smile's name out there which is always good.

I'm trying to wrap up all the loose ends for this year and work on planning things in 2011. Tomorrow, I have to submit more December updates for our website and I want to send a holiday greeting email to our PS supporters- I might hold off on that until next week and do a happy new year email instead and include another calendar promotion. I also should do a December newsletter- I'm way behind on that- a very common problem this year. I also need to catch up on my emails- yet again. Those are two of the business things that I want to improve on next year- getting my newsletter out every month and promptly responding to emails. There are other things that I want to improve for next year. I want to take some time and focus nothing but planning for next year and working on ways to improve.

Well, that is the latest for tonight. I am going to watch Jay Leno's headlines, then read- I am really enjoying the mystery I've been reading- although it isn't necessarily the best bedtime reading! Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Credit Card Issue Returns

So much to write about! So, remember the issue about the girl who bought the airline tickets at our silent auction, lost them and then told her credit card company that she never received them- our credit card company took our $550 back, we sent a letter with a copy of the receipt from the post office showing she signed for the tickets and we got our money back. Well, her credit card company is still appealing and now it is headed to arbitration. The bad news is that if I continue to fight for our money and lose, we will be hit with a $500 charge in addition to losing our money. Obviously, we are in the right and we can prove it, but it is a little scary to have the idea of being hit with that big a charge if we didn't win. I am moving forward with the arbitration process.

Her credit card company wrote that our signature proof wasn't sufficient because it was dated before she said she called us to say she never received the tickets. Now, she never called to say she didn't get the tickets- she called to say that she did have them but lost them and was there anything I could do- there wasn't because the air line specifically wrote on the tickets that they weren't responsible for lost/stolen tickets. However, her cc company's reason doesn't make sense because even if they believed that she called me on 9/30 to say they didn't arrive (which she didn't), and my signature proof is dated 9/22- then that is what is supposed to happen. You can't call to say you didn't get something until after it should have been mailed. I don't understand where their logic is coming from. It also amazes me how she would just call up and pretend like she never received them- it really is a rotten thing to do. Hopefully, things will work out in our favor- since we did nothing wrong.

So what else is happening? Well, our 2nd Annual Santa and Stilettos was Saturday night. Reggie B Productions and the Hello Stiletto Shoe Club put the event together. It was a lot of fun and had a great turnout. Unfortunately, Kennedy was sick, so we had Miss Manchester NH step in and host the event- she did a great job, especially at the last minute. The fashion show was great- I even modeled in it! We raised $550 at the silent auction. We are getting a portion of the ticket proceeds, but I'm not sure what the final numbers are yet, so I will keep you posted. Santa Claus- one of the fire fighters that I know- did it again this year. He attended our holiday event last year. He does a great job mingling with everyone and posing for photos.

In other good news- we received the grant that I was getting a little worried about! It was for $3,000- the same amount as last year. I was quite relieved and happy when I opened the envelope. There probably wasn't any reason to be worried about getting it, but I never take anything for granted.

Well friends, I am off to bed. Actually, I am off to eat pizelles- the most delicious Italian cookies ever! I am slightly (very) addicted to them! Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Wonders

Well, there aren't any wonders happening today, but I thought it was a good title for the blog! So what's new? Our boxes are officially ordered and should be arriving by the end of this month- which is a lot sooner than I had expected. I'm not sure yet where they are going to be stored, but I'm going to be working on that tomorrow. I'm just relieved that we are going to be having our own boxes again. According to the box company, our logo will be even more prominent on these boxes which is good. Of course, it is disappointing that we now have to pay for them, but there is nothing I can do about that right now. I'm just happy that we have the money to pay for them and we're not going back to the old unprofessional look. The cost was reasonable- it is higher the first time because they have to design the template, but once it is in place, we won't have that charge again.

It is disappointing that we lost the sponsor, especially the way it happened. I always try to look back and see what I could have done differently, but in this situation, there wasn't much that I could have reasonably done. I'm going to work on finding a new box sponsor that can help pay for the next load of boxes.

I'm a little worried about one grant that we applied for. We have received this grant for the past couple of years, I was invited to apply last month- which we did, but haven't heard anything yet. The grant usually arrives by now. I was pretty confident that we would be included, but now I'm getting concerned. They might just be delayed. Please keep your fingers crossed for us.

Today, I did another donation of stuffed animals, books and some really nice toys to the Department of Children and Families. I always like donating there. It makes me happy to know that we can have some impact on children who are in foster care. That must be such a terribly traumatic experience for a child to go through- it is good to know that we can help in some way to make it a little easier.

Well friends, that's it for today. I'm going back to catching up on emails. Until next time...

Monday, December 6, 2010


well, these have not been the best of days. The company that has been buying boxes for us for the past year abruptly ended their support and now we only have 6 empty boxes. I scrambled to contact local box companies that we can buy from, I got a good price from one company, so I think that is the one that we are going to go with. I'm waiting for them to get back to me with the cost to create the template. The boxes are important because they have our name and logo on them (they also used to have the logo of the company who bought them for us). I don't have a new box sponsor and I don't have time to find one. I need these boxes urgently. The other bad news is that I won't be getting the boxes until some time in January. I'm not going back to our days of using Poland Spring water gallon boxes with our logo taped to them. We're going to have to wait until the new ones come in. It was very disappointing to lose this company's support and it was especially bad to lose it suddenly- leaving me no time to make alternative arrangements. I appreciate what they did do for us and I wish that they didn't choose to end their support. The good thing is that I do have a lot of boxes of stuffed animals all ready to be donated in the mean time.

In good news, we received the $551 was credited back to our account from the woman who lost the airline tickets, then contacted her credit card company and pretended that she never received them. I was fairly confident that we would win, particularly since we had such strong proof, but it was still a relief to get the letter stating that our money was being returned.

Well, I think that's it for tonight. I'm off to read for a bit, I got a mystery novel from the library and I'm enjoying it- although I think it did contribute to the nightmare I had last night after reading! Until tomorrow friends...